- Endangered Scholars Worldwide
The information in this quarterly report is current as of January 11, 2017. The situation of scholars and students around the world changes on a daily basis. For the most up-to-date information and ways in which you can be involved in calling for the freedom of endangered scholars and students, please visit www.endangeredscholarsworldwide.net or follow us at www.facebook.com/endangeredscholars. In these printed pages we simply introduce new cases that have come to our attention in the past three months and provide basic information about continuing cases—a description of charges and potential or actual reported sentences.
If you are aware of a scholar or student whose case you believe we should investigate, please contact us at email@example.com.
OPEN LETTER SENT TO DONALD TRUMP
November 16, 2016
To President-elect Donald Trump:
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the escalating number of incidents of aggression experienced by students, faculty, and staff in educational institutions across the country after the United States presidential election. The ongoing and increasing severity of threats made against students and faculty members based on their race or religion have raised grave concerns about the ability of [End Page v] scholars, intellectuals, and students to work safely in American educational settings, particularly at the university level, where education is elective.
On Saturday November 12, 2016, swastikas were discovered on four dormitory rooms at The New School, home to Endangered Scholars Worldwide and the original University in Exile, which provided academic refuge to scholars threatened by the Nazi’s rise to power in 1933. On the same day, two bathrooms at Reed College’s library in Oregon were defaced with racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and pro-Trump graffiti. Similar incidents have been reported across the US. Most cases appear to involve graffiti or violence directed at racial or ethnic minorities. In some reports the perpetrators indicated support for President-elect Donald Trump. Some of the cases were reported by police, many more appeared on social media as anecdotes, and not all have been independently verified. African Americans and Muslims have reported a dramatic rise in racist remarks since the election. At the University of Pennsylvania, students were added to a chat group where users with names like “Daddy Trump” sent them racial and sexist slurs, along with an invitation to an event called “Daily Lynching.” Anonymous users also called students “dumb slaves” and sent a picture of a mass lynching with the caption “I love America.” As of this report, a University of Oklahoma student has been suspended in connection with the messages.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide respectfully urges the president-elect to speak out against these unacceptable attacks and stand in solidarity with higher education authorities who are investigating these incidents and taking the appropriate measures to guaranty the safety and well being of students, faculty, and staff. The targeting of scholars, professors, and students seriously undermines the mission of institutions of higher learning to provide safe environments in which everyone is respected and teaching and learning is fostered. [End Page vi]
NEW AND CONTINUING CASES
On December 3, 2016, Taliban militants publicly hanged a university student on the campus of Kabul Polytechnic University after accusing him of killing a senior intelligence officer. The militia took faizul rehman, a fourth-year student, from his car as he traveled home to visit his family in Maidan Wardak province, about 60 kilometers west of Kabul. As of this report none of the Taliban militants involved in the execution have been arrested. However, according to BBC Persian, the Afghan interior ministry confirmed the execution and said they had launched an investigation “to arrest and punish the perpetrators of this criminal act.”
Endangered Scholars Worldwide condemns this heinous crime in the strongest possible terms and stands in solidarity with the family of the victim. In recent years, students, professors, and academics have been increasingly targeted in violent attacks—an unacceptable trend that hurts the future of societies at large. Universities, as all-in-one symbols of freedom, empowerment, and peace are increasingly targeted for the values they promote, which stand in strong contrast with the extremist ideology and...